Medieval Writing
Paleography Exercises
Petition to Henry VI of 1441. (London, National Archives, E28/G8/18). All images by permission of the National Archives.

This brief document is a petition to Henry VI from the abbot and convent of Combe in Warwickshire. Unfortunately, we do not know what the petition was about, as it originally had another document with the details attached. However, it does give a good indication of the processes which took place in the chancery with this type of document, as the verso, or back, of the document is endorsed by the clerk of the council, indicating what action was taken in response to the petition. The recto, or front, shown here is the formal part of the petition. It is a single sheet of parchment, long and narrow as is usual with these documents. The petition on the recto is in French, while the endorsement on the back is in Latin.

The images on this and the text pages have been upgraded from scans of old photocopies to colour images derived from National Archives downloads. I'm not sure that this makes them more legible, but they look more authentic.

| overview | recto text | verso text | recto alphabet | verso alphabet |

| recto abbreviations | verso abbreviations | exercises |

| recto transcript | recto translation | verso transcript | verso translation |

Click on each of the above to walk your way through the text. The transcripts will appear in a separate window so that you can use them for reference at any time. These exercises are designed to guide you through the text, not test you, so you can cheat as much as you like.
Script sample for recto
Script sample for verso
Index of Exercises
Index of Scripts

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This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome. Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 12/3/2008.